Candidates and Head Hunter: the great misunderstanding

When loosing his job, the reaction to turn to Executive Search offices is a normal one. The level of expectation is high from the candidate to meet some recruitment specialists.

Each practice receives a huge amount of CV (100+++ each week). It is impossible for the Head hunter to meet all candidates. He has a company responsibility to develop his practice. He has clients to serve.

As head hunter, he would be pleased if he could find enough time to both manage his assignments and meet all candidates sending their spontaneous CV.

For each candidate, this time constraint generates a frustration and induces a major misunderstanding. To better understand the situation could possibly help candidates to get by.





When loosing your job or deciding to move to the next step of your career, a normal reflex is to contact Executive Search offices. So quite logically they receive tons of CV every week. It is rather difficult to give a precise figure for it varies from country to country. However, this number could vary from hundreds to thousands a week!


Candidate’s point of view (Candidate expectation)


When a candidate sends his CV to a Head Hunter he has put in soul in every line he wrote. He has left his employer or is in the process of doing so. His level of expectation is very high that he would make an appointment with recruitment specialists.


The main reasons for his rather high level of expectation could be summarised as followed:

- He used to be a “rather” important person in his company

- He could have got an appointment with a Head Hunter at any time

- The Head Hunter he knew were always very friendly and open every time he contacted them


His disappointment will be important when he will realise the Head Hunter is not responding positively to his expectations. He had expected some positive support because he is living a rather difficult period of his live.

He has the bitter feeling to be somehow betrayed. His frustration is reinforced by the feeling that the Head Hunter is letting him down because he is no more an “important” business partner. The Head Hunter image is the one of an ingrate!


Head Hunter’s point of view

The standpoint of the Head Hunter is quite different. To best understand the situation, let’s go back to some basics: what are Head Hunters here for?


Their mission is to find the most appropriate talents for their customers not to provide jobs to candidates seeking a new opportunity.


He has the responsibility to develop a business, which implies two different dimensions: acquire new assignments and find talents for his customers. Those two activities as such already represent a full time job!


Trying to combine this with the candidates’ expectations of making an appointment to explain his personal situation is simply not possible (remember hundreds of applications a week!).


The selection made by the Head Hunter to accept an appointment is a subtle combination of business opportunity and profile match with existing assignments.



The conclusion: What to expect from your Head Hunter?

You can reasonably trust Executive Search offices to properly file your last CV version. You should normally receive an answer to your letter which you should consider like an acknowledgement of receipt.


Don’t put too much energy making an appointment with the Head Hunter. Basically, you have the best contract with them i.e. a win-win: if he finds you a job that is your current dearest wish, he will get some fees. So you can count on him to call on you, should he have an assignment where your profile could fit.


Avoiding putting some false hope in the executive search profession will save you some frustration (in a period of live where, more than ever, you don’t need any!).



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Commentaires: 2
  • #1

    Chrystal Levell (jeudi, 02 février 2017 17:33)

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  • #2

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